Meet Hayleigh, 16
Chesterfield | Services: Children’s Hospital Foundation Heart Center
“They lost her for about 15 seconds,” Michelle says, remembering the blur of events surrounding the trip her daughter, Hayleigh, 16, took by ambulance to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR).
Hi, I’m Cassidy and I have a very real condition called PANS. I am not sure what it stands for. All I know is that it has something to do with microplasma which is in your blood. What happens is when the microplasma rises it causes me to get very nervous.
Megan Blake has a special connection to the DSAGR’s Annual Step Up for Down Syndrome 5K and Family Festival.
When Megan’s daughter, Katie, was born in 2006, she sought information and resources to help with the overwhelming feeling of having a child with Down syndrome. Through her search, she found the DSAGR (Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond) which, at that time, was small and consisted of a handful of families, monthly meetings, picnics and events to bring families together.
My son just turned 9 and when he blew out his candle he closed his eyes and wished hard, his wish was for his eczema to go away. He has been itching his whole life. He suffers from chronic eczema. His battle has been huge. We have tried everything and our journey has been long and grueling. Instead of sharing the millions of nightmares I will highlight what I know!
Hello, Internet! Cole here. Last month, I wrote an article about my vacation to Costa Rica. For the sake of brevity, however, I only wrote about the preceding events and the first day of the adventure. This month, I’ve written about the second day. Enjoy!
Day 2: More Transit
The next day, we packed our bags, ate breakfast at the resort, and got on the bus again. Thirty minutes later, the bus entered a small parking lot at the foot of a hill. After applying bug spray and sunscreen, we began hiking up the hill. Halfway up, Juan led us down a side path to our left. On this new path’s right lay a clear view of Arenal Volcano; on its left grew plantain trees, cacao trees, and sugarcane. We spent thirty minutes listening to Juan’s information about each of these things in turn, and then we used a second side path to reach the top of the hill. The view was quite expansive, so we stopped to take it in and take some photos.
Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Hello, Internet! Cole here. A long time ago – maybe 2 or 3 years prior – I had a minor obsession with international travel. The idea of going to other places with fundamentally different flora, fauna, and traditions fascinated me, and I longed for the day when I could finally exit my native country and begin exploring a different clime. That day finally came on June 26, 2017, when I embarked on my first international trip to Costa Rica. I will never forget the adventure that followed, nor will I forget the friend(s?) that I made. Join me as I recount the best – and currently only – international vacation I’ve ever had!
Days -600-something to -1: Preparation
I first found out about the trip as a freshman through an advertisement at school. The host and chaperone was my ninth-grade mathematics teacher Mr. Dexter, who’d tried to get students to go on similar, more expensive trips with him in previous years. Due to my aforementioned youthful wanderlust and my respect for the teacher, I naturally seized the opportunity and informed my parents, who supported my participation despite the sizable price tag. One boring school year, several preparatory meetings and three thousand dollars later, I was ready to go.
Day 0: Commute
This day started fairly normally, as I wouldn’t have to leave for the airport until around noon. Until then, I stayed at home and played video games, occasionally stopping to add various items to my bags or listen. At around 10:00, my parents and I got into the car and drove to the airport, stopping briefly to get Chick-Fil-A for lunch.
After arriving at the airport and saying goodbye to my parents, I followed my group to our gate. Over the course of the day, we would take two flights: one from our airport to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and another from that airport to San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport. During both, we would fly first-class; I’m not sure if that accommodation was part of the travel package or if Mr. Dexter just got lucky, but I don’t really care either way.
The first flight was relatively short and uneventful – just a regular commute. The second flight, however, had video screens on the backs of the seats. At the start of the flight, the screens played two different safety videos; the first was a normal safety video, while the second… well…
Once I’d poured my hand sanitizer in my eyeballs to clean my brain of that video, fiddled with the screen a bit while filling out a few intimidating customs forms. It provided several forms of complimentary entertainment, including movies and music. Josef, my aisle-mate, watched the LEGO Batman movie while I listened to obscure music I’d never heard before. As I listened, I stared out of the window for most of the flight and took some pictures of the view, occasionally putting my arm on the armrest and then yanking it away when I got too close to Josef and he protested.
Hello, Internet! Cole here. I’m finishing school as strongly as I can with what little willpower I still have, visiting the gym in my spare time, and generally trying to tune out my constant displeasure with the world. Nothing noteworthy has happened, so I’m going to answer some more silly questions because why not? After all, a whole three people commented on my last one, so this one should also do well, right? …whatever. Okay, here we go.
Robert Bolling and his wife, Dian, who live in Roanoke have 3 children. All 3 of the boys suffer with Fragile X. Fragile X syndrome is a rare genetic abnormality that causes profound learning, speech and language problems. People with it have short attention spans, low IQs, difficulty making eye contact and an inability to communicate or adjust to change.
A 7-year-old Midlothian boy with Canavan disease, who was never able to communicate, can now speak thanks to his therapist at Richmond Hope Therapy, which is part of Bon Secours Richmond Health System, in Glen Allen.
On April 30, 2017, River City Inclusive Gymnastics hosted DSAGR’s Funquest social group. The afternoon was filled with smiles, laughter, and exercise. The Funquest group was comprised of about 12 teens ages 13-20 of varying athletic ability. After a quick warm-up that included bear crawling, skipping, bunny hopping and stretching, the group began working on basic gymnastic skills. These skills included balance, coordination, and strength training and were presented to each Funquest participant as activities on part of an obstacle course. Think American Ninja Warrior but with a coach watching and guiding throughout . Some of the obstacles that the teens conquered were walking on a balance beam, swinging on a rope, swinging on rings and climbing a rock wall. The event culminated with a rocking game of volleyball. All of the coaches and volunteers had a great time and can’t wait to host another challenging and fun filled event soon.